Human Rights Watch has called on the government of Cameroon to offer proper medical care to one of the detained Ambazonia separatist leaders Shufai Blaise Berinyuy.
Reports of Shufai’s maltreatment in a military hospital in the nation’s capital Yaounde last week had angered his lawyers for called for government to respect their client’s life.
Shufai was discharged and sent back to the Kondengui Maximum security prison where suspected COVID-19 cases were reported.
This has forced Human Rights Watch to urge the government of Cameroon to ensure the safety of Sgufai whom they said could contract the virus in jail.
“Transferring Shufai, who is immunocompromised, to a crowded prison setting where transmission of Covid-19 is more likely seriously enhances the threats to his health and life,” Ilaria Allegrozzi, Senior Central Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch said.
“On May 16, Shufai, one of the leaders of the separatist group “Ambazonia Interim Government,” was transferred from the prison to the hospital for non-Covid-19-related illness. His family and lawyers said he was unconscious, and his health had deteriorated significantly over the previous 10 days. They reported that on May 19, Shufai was handcuffed to his hospital bed for the night, despite being barely able to move.
“Shufai’s family members and lawyers said that the head of the prison visited Shufai twice at the military hospital and pressed medical staff to discharge him, although his condition continues to be alarming. This is despite concerns over the spread of Covid-19 across Cameroon’s overcrowded prisons.